Bids are due to be submitted on 8 October for a major new project to design and build new oil production offshore oil facilities worth an estimated $1bn at the Belbazem oil field for Abu Dhabi’s Al-Yasat Petroleum Operations Company.

“Al-Yasat Petroleum has commenced a front end engineering and design (FEED) tender for the Belbazem Block in its offshore concession area (comprised of three fields: Belbazem, Umm al-Dholou and Umm al-Salsal) to deliver phased oil production of 45,000 barrels per day. Production will be processed through Zirku island, sharing existing Adnoc Offshore facilities and maximizing synergies wherever possible,” says Adnoc in a statement given to MEED.

Al-Yasat’s tender was issued in early September and covers the front-end engineering and design (feed). The winner will go on to build the facilities, the sources said.

“It’s a feed competition. Three entities will be selected to compete with three designs. The successful feed contractor will then execute the engineering, procurement and construction [EPC] contract next year,” one source explained.

The companies that have been invited to bid include:

  • China Petroleum Construction Company (China)/Technip (France)
  • Larsen & Toubro (India)
  • National Petroleum Construction Company (Abu Dhabi)
  • Saipem (Italy)
  • McDermott (US)

Al-Yasat, a joint venture of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and China National Petroleum Corporation, is developing the offshore Belbazem field, which lies about 120 kilometres to the northwest of Abu Dhabi in the Gulf. It aims to produce 45,000 barrels a day (b/d) of oil along with 27 million cubic feet a day (cf/d) of gas by 2023. The produced crude will transported by pipeline to processing facilities at Zirku island.

The company holds two concession areas. Its offshore block, which includes Belbazem, also contains a number of oil and gas fields currently under appraisal and development including Bu Haseer, Umm al-Dholou, Umm al-Salsal and Yaser. Adnoc says these could hold as much as 1.5 billion barrels of crude.

The company also has an onshore concession covering 7,800 square kilometres southwest of Abu Dhabi, where it is assessing commercial oil and gas potential.

Belbazem is the second field in the concession to be developed. Al-Yasat awarded its first major EPC contract earlier this year to Abu Dhabi-based National Petroleum Construction Company for the development of the Bu Haseer field, doubling its output from 8,000 b/d currently to 16,000 b/d by 2020. These will be Al-Yasat’s first production facilities since it was formed in 2014.

Although relatively small at 16,000 b/d and 45,000 b/d compared to the UAE’s overall production capacity – which comes close to 3.5 million b/d – the two fields will help maintain Abu Dhabi’s capacity in the long run, easing the burden on its older fields.

Abu Dhabi plans to hold its first exploration round in October, as it seeks to sustain its output levels, particularly as it grows its downstream refining footprint. The licensing round, covering two offshore and four onshore areas, is a rare opportunity for investors to enter the country’s oil sector, and a major shift from Adnoc’s traditional approach of direct negotiations with oil companies.

Successful companies will be given exploration rights in Abu Dhabi and, provided they reach defined targets, will be allowed to produce from any discoveries in partnership with Adnoc.

Adnoc did not respond to a request for a comment on the project.